The Dirty Secret of the Korean War

by Thomas Powell

CounterPunch (May 26 2017)

The Korean War has been called “America’s forgotten war”. The heavily weaponized US Army was fought to a draw by Soviet-equipped North Korean and Chinese armies. For the very first time in its storied legacy of military campaigns dating back to American Independence, the US Army did not prevail in war. In its next colonial war against communism in Asia the following decade, the US was soundly defeated by North Vietnam. However, these military setbacks are not the sole reason to forget the Korean War. There is a much darker denial at work in forgetting the specifics of history, and this unwillingness to honestly examine the Korean War is at the root of our ongoing conflict with North Korea.

The US Army’s clandestine deployment of biological weapons in North Korea and China during the Korean War is our ugly suppressed history. The allegation of American biological weapons use was first made by North Korea in May of 1951. New allegations were made the following year by both North Korea and China that American war planes on night sorties dropped canisters containing insects and voles contaminated with bubonic plague, hemorrhagic fever and other highly contagious diseases on villages and fields in rural North Korea and China.

An International Scientific Commission (“ISC”) was convened in 1952 to travel to North Korea and China to investigate the biological weapons allegations. The nine-member commission examined the collected evidence, visited sites, performed field tests, and took testimony from witnesses. The commission also took testimony from four captured prisoner of war (“POW”) American pilots. After compiling the record, the Commission determined that the testimony and evidence was overwhelming that the US Army had deployed biological weapons in war at several identified places at specific times.

President Truman, General MacArthur, the State Department, and CIA, vigorously denied the charges that biological weapons had been deployed in the scorched-earth war they were prosecuting in Korea. The Chinese and North Korean biological weapons accusations were denounced as communist propaganda. The ISC Report was ridiculed; the commission members were labeled as communist dupes. The new Eisenhower presidency in 1953 brought the Dulles brothers to power, and US denial of biological weapons use in Korea became the unspoken US policy locked in place. But armistice talks also began.

Simultaneously, there occurred the systematic shredding of the record of all biological weapons related documents in the US Army Chemical Corps files – flight logs, shipping ladings, briefing reports, pilot logs – all the usual military paper trail that historians look for, have gone missing for the past 65 years! The Eisenhower administration also moved to punish public dissent with show trials for the disappointing war results in Korea, and to fan Cold War red-phobia. An American journalist, John W Powell, was indicted on the federal charge of sedition for his pro-Chinese communist sympathies, his reportage of biological weapons allegations, and his editorials on the Korean War in his news magazine China Monthly Review which he published in Shanghai, China.

After much ado, the show trial began in January 1959 but ended abruptly in a mistrial being declared by the judge. The unofficial but very real “forgetting” of the Korean War really begins here with the collapse of the government’s case. Years later, Powell revisited the topic of biological weapons and published two articles in 1983 outlining how the US Army had acquired biological weapons from Japan after World War Two. The Japanese Imperial Army had run a clandestine bio-weapon research facility and prison camp innocuously name Unit 731 under the direction of Surgeon General Shiro Ishii near Harbin, China in Japanese occupied Manchuria. This military laboratory experimented on live prisoners and murdered many thousand prisoners in medical experimentations with contagious disease. Another estimated 400,000 peasants in China, Manchuria and Siberia died from regionally unknown diseases caused by live diseased vectors dropped in canisters by Japanese aircraft.

The similarity of delivery technology and pathogens between the Japanese biological weapons deployment in Manchuria and the subsequent US deployment in Korea and China was noted by the ISC. After the Japanese surrender, Dr Ishii and much of his staff successfully defected to the US occupying forces of General MacArthur in Tokyo, bringing with them medical records and 8000 slide specimens of their research on disease pathology. This trove of disease experimentation on live subjects was quietly shipped to the US Army’s bioweapon research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Ishii and his scientists, guilty of some of the worse war crimes of the Pacific combat theater, were given immunity from war crimes prosecution.

The evidence for American biological weapons deployment during the Korean War is overwhelming. Yet, the denial machine of the security state continues today. Recently, a Woodrow Wilson Institute scholar, Milton Leitenberg, has reworked his theory that the entire Korean War biological weapons affair was a giant communist hoax cooked up by Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Zhou Enlai to tar brush the US into ceasefire negotiations. Leitenberg’s conspiracy theory is a B-movie plot, not plausible given his questionable source material and the historical record. Nevertheless, this quasi-official spin demonstrates clearly the extension across time to which the state denial apparatus can reach. The ongoing denial of US war crimes committed during the Korean War has been an enormous stumbling block to the normalization of relations between the US and North Korea. We cannot end hostilities nor seriously negotiate with a nuclear-armed North Korea with lies and a phony history.

_____

To read the full article with sources and footnotes see: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08854300.2016.1265859

Thomas Powell is a sculptor and writer. His recent essays include, “Gun Lust: An Investigation into America’s Sordid Gun Addiction”, International Critical Thought, 6:1 (2016), and http://bad.eserver.org/upcoming/91/powell-china.htm

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/the-dirty-secret-of-the-korean-war/

Categories: Uncategorized

Saudis Win Hearts by Lining Pockets

By achieving an odd-couple alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia has cleared away US political resistance to the massive arms build-up that President Trump just embraced.

by Jonathan Marshall (This is the fourth in a series on foreign lobbying.)

Consortium News (May 22 2017)

Families of the victims and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have asked {1} the Department of Justice to open “an immediate national security investigation” into a “massive Saudi-funded foreign agent offensive” to “delude Congress” into “shield[ing] the Kingdom from any inquiry into the involvement of its agents in supporting the September 11th attacks”.


Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then Saudi ambassador to the United States, meeting with President George W Bush in Crawford, Texas, on August 27 2002. (White House photo)

The complaint marks what is perhaps the most frontal public assault on Saudi influence peddling in Washington since 1981, when pro-Israel critics blasted Riyadh’s successful campaign to win congressional approval for its controversial purchase of AWACS surveillance planes.

The families’ complaint targets Saudi Arabia’s lavishly funded attempts to water down the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (“JASTA”). Passed into law last fall, against opposition from the Obama administration, the Act gives Americans the right to sue foreign governments that provide “material support” to terrorist groups.

The complaint asserts that after the law passed, “the Kingdom went on a foreign agent spending spree, hiring … more than 100 foreign agents to work on its behalf to wage an assault on JASTA. No expense has been spared in the Kingdom’s unparalleled campaign to build a state of the art and nationwide lobbying and propaganda apparatus for the sole purpose of bending US legislative process to its will”.

It also claims that Saudi Arabia and its lobbyists have potentially committed “widespread criminal violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act” by, among other things, concealing their role in mobilizing veterans under false pretenses {2} to back repeal of the law {3}.

According to The Hill, the Saudi government now employs fourteen lobbying firms {4}, at an estimated cost of well over $1.3 million a month {5}, more than it spent in all of 2000. Their hired guns include Podesta Group, co-founded by Tony Podesta, one of the Democratic Party’s top fundraisers, and his brother John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s national campaign chairman in 2016; BGR Group, whose name partners include the former head of the Republican Party; and {6} former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (Republican, Mississippi).

Besides supporting specific legislative goals like rolling back JASTA, Saudi Arabia cultivates allies in Washington to “keep the focus on what a great ally it is in the Middle East, not on issues like what women are and aren’t allowed to do there”, said {7} a spokeswoman the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington DC.

Saudi Arabia’s agents go to great lengths to play down the country’s human rights abuses, including its many beheadings and cruel floggings of dissidents. According to Lee Fang {8},

 

 

When Nimr al-Nimr, a peaceful government critic, was executed in January (2016), the Podesta Group helped the regime shape media coverage, providing a quote to The New York Times to smear Nimr as a “terrorist”. Other American consultants working for the Saudi Embassy used social media and other efforts to attack Nimr and justify the execution …

The influence also extends to promotion of Saudi Arabia’s controversial role in the Middle East, including the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen and the country’s failure to address private financiers of radical Islamic groups such as ISIS.

 

 

Taking Care of Friends

Saudi Arabia manages to exert influence, particularly over the Executive Branch, for a number of economic and geopolitical reasons apart from lobbying. No president can afford to overlook its immense importance as a market for US arms makers or its ability to influence the world price of oil.


Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on January 27 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Successive administrations have curried favor with the monarchy to reward its conservative influence in a region that has long been rocked by fiery ideologues like Nasser, Arafat, and Khomeini. Saudi Arabia is also valued as an ally in other regions, for example its off-the-books financial support for the Afghan mujahedeen and Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s.

More recently, Saudi Arabia has won strong support from the Obama and Trump administrations for organizing a coalition of Sunni Arab states to oppose the expansion of Iran’s influence in the Middle East. In the name of containing Iran, Washington has kept quiet about Saudi responsibility for killing thousands of civilians in Yemen {9}, and putting millions there at risk of starvation.

In its quest for influence, however, Saudi Arabia takes no chances and spares no expense. Since the 1940s, when their country became an oil superpower, the Saudis have handed out vast sums of cash on a bipartisan basis to powerful and soon-to-be powerful Americans.

When Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was nominated for president in 1992, Saudi business tycoons donated $3.5 million {10} to endow the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas. That November, the King of Saudi Arabia called to congratulate President-elect Clinton – and gave another $20 million {11} to the university.

Years later, as Hillary Clinton was mulling her future campaign for president, the Saudi kingdom donated {12} more than $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Kuwait and other Gulf interests chipped in many millions on top, no doubt solely because of their shared commitment to fighting AIDS.

Republicans have fared even better. Rich Saudis close to the royal family reportedly invested {13} $80 million in Carlyle Group, the world’s largest private equity firm, after it hired former President H W Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker as senior advisers.

Earlier, a billionaire Saudi banker raised eyebrows by rescuing Harken Energy after it appointed George W Bush to its board of directors. Deals like these made the relationship {14} between the Bush family and the royal family almost legendary, particularly after George W Bush turned a blind eye {15} to Saudi Arabia’s support for radical Islamists, even after 9/11.

The Bushes and the Clintons were far from unique. In the words {16} of former CIA officer Robert Baer,

 

 

… finding a high-ranking former US government official who isn’t at least tangentially bound to Saudi Arabia is like searching for a teetotaler at a Phi Gam toga party … Aware that government bureaucrats can’t retire comfortably on a federal pension, the Saudis put out the message: You play the game – keep your mouth shut about the kingdom – and we’ll take care of you, find you a job, fund a chair at a university for you, maybe even present you with a Lexus and a town house in Georgetown.

 

 

One of Saudi Arabia’s most influential ambassadors to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, reportedly {17} told an associate,

 

 

If the reputation … builds that the Saudis take care of friends when they leave office, you’d be surprised how much better friends you have who are just coming into office.

 

 

The Arab Lobby vs the Israel Lobby

Recalling that quote, Alan Dershowitz, the pugnacious Harvard law professor and champion of Israel, once commented {18}, “Yes Virginia, there is a big bad lobby that distorts US foreign policy in the Middle East way out of proportion to its actual support by the American public … But the offending lobby is not AIPAC, which supports Israel, but rather the Arab lobby, which opposes the Jewish state”.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Yet for all its funding, the Saudi (or broader Arab) Lobby doesn’t compare in clout to the Israel Lobby. Its most significant victory – narrowly winning congressional support for Riyadh’s purchase of AWACS surveillance planes in 1981 – was achieved more by lobbying from President Reagan and aerospace contractors than from the desert kingdom’s hired help.

Saudi Arabia’s failure to head off passage of JASTA last year highlights its limited ability to defeat grassroots coalitions that threaten its interests. For all its funding, the pro-Arab lobby has no significant public support in the United States. Arab-Americans are politically much less well organized – or focused on Mideast issues – than their counterparts (including Christian Zionists) in the pro-Israel lobby.

In addition, Americans are much less sympathetic to the Saudi national story of desert Bedouins striking it rich with oil, than to the Israeli story of Holocaust survivors establishing the Middle East’s “only democracy” and making the desert bloom.

However, the old game of comparing the clout of these rival lobbies {19} is no longer relevant. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states today enjoy relatively strong support from Democratic and Republican legislators alike because they have become de facto allies of Israel, pursuing a common campaign of isolating Iran and destabilizing the Assad regime in Syria.

In October 2013, during the height of the impassioned debate over Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly {20}, “The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

Reports soon emerged {21} of sub rosa meetings between Israeli security officials and the powerful Saudi Princes Bandar bin Sultan and Turki al-Faisal, both former heads of Saudi intelligence and ambassadors to the United States. Such meetings reportedly produced secret strategic agreements {22} between Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, as well as joint propaganda campaigns {23} in the United States.

Israel’s staunch supporters in the United States quickly followed Netanyahu’s lead and applauded Saudi Arabia as a great friend.

Soon after the Prime Minister’s UN speech, for instance, journalist Robert Parry observed {24} that

 

 

… American neocons are rallying to the new Israeli-Saudi alliance by demanding that President Barack Obama engage more aggressively against the two countries’ foes in the Middle East, thus “bolstering Israeli and Saudi confidence”, as The Washington Post’s deputy editorial-page editor Jackson Diehl declared.

 

 

Neoconservatives ranging from Max Boot to The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board hammered away at that theme, publishing a steady stream of articles {25} calling on the United States to join Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to “stop the new Persian Empire”.


President Trump takes part in the ceremony for signing the agreement on weapons sales in Saudi Arabia, May 20 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

One manifestation of the new alliance is the fact that US arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia soared 280 percent {26} from the five-year period 2005~2010 to 2011~2016. Such massive arming of Riyadh simply would not have been possible without the support of pro-Israel members of Congress.

Defenders of the Israel and Saudi lobbies will claim that they are not subverting the US political system but rather supporting US national interests by promoting the containment of Iran, which they misleadingly brand {27} the world’s “chief sponsor of terrorism”.

In truth, however, the policies they endorse have little genuine public support and have proven dangerous and fabulously expensive to Americans.

The failure to press for a lasting solution to the plight of Palestinians continues to fuel anti-Americanism in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The destabilization of Syria has produced millions of desperate refugees and provided haven for thousands of hardened Islamist fighters. The war in Yemen, supported by Washington in the name of resisting Iran, has become one of the world’s great humanitarian crises.

The Israeli-Saudi ongoing proxy wars with Iran create obstacles to achieving peaceful settlements in the theaters of America two biggest recent wars, Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington’s silence on the human rights violations of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states makes a mockery of its universal moral claims. And the failure to squarely address Saudi Arabia’s contributions to the growth of Islamist militancy heightens the insecurity of all nations threatened by misguided jihadists.

Reversing these disastrous policies will require years of continued debate and political organizing. But it will also require public exposure and genuine discussion of the malign influence of foreign money and propaganda on the US political system, not just the current focus on alleged Russian activities.

_____

This is the fourth in a series on foreign lobbying. The previous installments were “The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying” {28}; “How China Lobby Shaped America” {29}; and “Israel Pays the Political Piper” {30}. Next: The Turkish Lobby.]

Links:

{1} http://passjasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FARA-COMPLAINT-20170329.pdf

{2} https://www.yahoo.com/news/911-families-seek-justice-department-probe-of-saudi-lobbying-that-enlisted-u-s-veterans-130740119.html

{3} http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-saudi-arabia-tricked-american-veterans/

{4} http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/304019-saudi-arabia-continues-expansion-of-k-street-force

{5} http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/lobbying-hires/298975-saudi-arabia-hires-tenth-lobby-firm

{6} http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/congress-foreign-lobbying-228982

{7} https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/04/20/saudi-government-has-vast-network-of-pr-lobby-firms-in-u-s/

{8} https://theintercept.com/2016/03/21/saudi-arabia-continues-hiring-spree-of-lobbyists-retains-former-washington-post-reporter/

{9} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/21/the-wests-moral-hypocrisy-on-yemen/

{10} https://books.google.com/books?id=Bp6kj6SbgtYC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=If+the+reputation+then+builds+that+the+Saudis+take+care+of+friends+when+they+leave+office,+you%27d+be+surprised+how+much+better+friends+you+have+when+they+are+just+coming+into+office&source=bl&ots=i3xwlvnje_&sig=SJQfu8xUIXUOwuQVDoUUDZot_Z4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2x77R8N7TAhXmr1QKHQCBAj4Q6AEIMDAC#v=onepage&q=If%20the%20reputation%20then%20builds%20that%20the%20Saudis%20take%20care%20of%20friends%20when%20they%20leave%20office%2C%20you%27d%20be%20surprised%20how%20much%20better%20friends%20you%20have%20when%20they%20are%20just%20coming%20into%20offic

{11} https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/02/11/oil-for-security-fueled-close-ties/fdf1f123-214f-41b3-a53c-a5e687c648e7/?utm_term=.8b869da65ef0

{12} https://theintercept.com/2016/08/25/why-did-the-saudi-regime-and-other-gulf-tyrannies-donate-millions-to-the-clinton-foundation/

{13} http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/10/saving-the-saudis-200310

{14} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Bush,_House_of_Saud

{15} http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2003/10/saving-the-saudis-200310

{16} https://books.google.com/books?id=Bo1n6uJEOPkC&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=If+the+reputation+then+builds+that+the+Saudis+take+care+of+friends+when+they+leave+office,+you%27d+be+surprised+how+much+better+friends+you+have+when+they+are+just+coming+into+office&source=bl&ots=qJLMmFobFt&sig=Qzb2D9tSlJJaB-TNfq2xvgepeiA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj2x77R8N7TAhXmr1QKHQCBAj4Q6AEINDAD#v=onepage&q=If%20the%20reputation%20then%20builds%20that%20the%20Saudis%20take%20care%20of%20friends%20when%20they%20leave%20office%2C%20you%27d%20be%20surprised%20how%20much%20better%20friends%20you%20have%20when%20they%20are%20just%20coming%20into%20offic

{17} https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2002/02/11/oil-for-security-fueled-close-ties/fdf1f123-214f-41b3-a53c-a5e687c648e7/

{18} http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/24/the-arab-lobby-in-america-alan-dershowitz

{19} http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-pro-israel-and-pro-arab-lobbies

{20} http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.550012

{21} https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/15/did-money-seal-israeli-saudi-alliance/

{22} http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/israel-al-sisi-egypt-saudi-arabia-islands-transfer-alliance.html

{23} https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/world/middleeast/qatars-support-of-extremists-alienates-allies-near-and-far.html

{24} https://consortiumnews.com/2013/10/29/neocons-push-israeli-saudi-alliance/

{25} http://lobelog.com/neocons-defend-saudi-arabia/

{26} http://lobelog.com/more-arms-to-saudi-arabia-more-mideast-conflicts/#more-33214

{27} https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/08/the-need-to-hold-saudi-arabia-accountable/

{28} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/19/the-open-secret-of-foreign-lobbying/

{29} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/20/how-china-lobby-shaped-america/

{30} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/21/israel-lobby-pays-the-political-piper/

Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to ConsortiumNews.com.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/22/saudis-win-hearts-by-lining-pockets/

Categories: Uncategorized

The End of Oil within Ten Years?

by Chris

Capitalist Exploits (May 17 2017)

Zero Hedge (May 18 2017)

We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history.

So says Stanford University economist Tony Seba in a detailed report.

The report paints a pretty grim picture for oil bulls, and an even grimmer one for one horse economies such as that of the Saudis {1}, who without oil under their sandals would be largely indistinguishable from the typical inhabitants of downtown Detroit – living in abandoned houses littered with empty cans of Vienna sausages, old beer cans, used needles, and rags stained with things best not mentioned in polite conversation.

By 2030, within ten years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (“AVs”), 95% of US passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by eets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS).

The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value – but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

You can read the entire report at {2}. It’s a bit of War & Peace at 77 pages long but full of interesting nuggets that exercise the gray matter. I recommend it.

Let me say for the record that I’m often skeptical of published reports by academia. Too often academics live in a world where the number of letters behind their name is inversely correlated with real world experience, leading to all sorts of silly and often dangerous theories. Just look at Krugman … I rest my case.

Fortunately, Tony Seba, the author, comes from the real world, having spent a couple decades successfully building, running, and managing businesses. As far as I can tell, he’s got a lot of practical knowledge and understands the real world:

 

 

Oil demand will peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020, dropping to seventy million barrels per day by 2030. That represents a drop of thirty million barrels in real terms and forty million barrels below the Energy Information Administration’s current “business as usual” case.

This will have a catastrophic effect on the oil industry through price collapse (an equilibrium cost of $25.4 per barrel), disproportionately impacting different companies, countries, oil fields and infrastructure depending on their exposure to high-cost oil.

 

How do you spell catastrophic?The impact of the collapse of oil prices throughout the oil industry value chain will be felt as soon as 2021.

* In the US, an estimated 65% of shale oil and tight oil – which under a “business as usual” scenario could make up over seventy percent of the US supply in 2030 – would no longer be commercially viable.

* Approximately seventy percent of the potential 2030 production of Bakken shale oil would be stranded under a seventy million barrels per day demand assumption.

* Infrastructure such as the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would be stranded, as well.

* Other areas facing volume collapse include offshore sites in the United Kingdom, Norway and Nigeria; Venezuelan heavy crude fields; and the Canadian tar sands.

* Conventional energy and transportation industries will suffer substantial job loss. Policies will be needed to mitigate these adverse effects.

I can already hear the dismissive crowd. This Tony is loony?

But Before We Dismiss the Idea …

Consider …

What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?

– The Quarterly Review (March 1825)

Or …

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.

Steve Ballmer, USA Today (April 30 2007)

Below is a detailed chart of the growth of iPhone market share ever since:

The fact is history is replete with examples of stodgy old men in chunky jumpers scoffing at new technology and being taken seriously by the establishment, only to find themselves years later being laughed at as “the old fart who got it so wrong”. The consequences, other than their progeny having to change their names and move to Venezuela, have been profound.

This list of man made life changing technologies which were never “seen” is not a short one:

The internal combustion engine, the printing press, penicillin, wave theory, surgery, public key cryptography, gene therapy, cryptocurrencies {3} parabolic geometry, biochemistry, computational fluid dynamics, physics, graphene, satellites, the string bikini. Life changing stuff.

Clearly, it happens. Is Tony onto something?

Proof

There are two main factors the report points to though:

1. The economics of transport-as-a-service (“TaaS”), and that it offers a vastly lower-cost transport alternative – four to ten times cheaper per mile than buying a new car and two to four times cheaper than operating an existing vehicle in 2021.

Sure, we can point to Peach and her husband Storm, raising their 2.4 snowflakes in an off-the-grid house made of hemp and recycled toilet rolls, being desirous of air they don’t chew before swallowing it. They’re simply modern age hippies.

Plus, on the other end of the spectrum, we can argue that there is no way that Billy-Bob will take Betty-Sue out in anything other than something that when accelerating is the closest thing to a mobile orgasm you’ll find. Neither of these people matter when subjected to the gravity of economics.

More than a move towards electric vehicles the main economic driver suggested in the report is that of TAAS.

Essentially, this is Uber and any transportation-on-demand service. If we look at how readily and rapidly internet users have adopted to using the cloud then we can see the same process potentially unfold.

In 2012, ride sharing was when you asked your buddy for a lift to work because he was going that way and you were too hungover to drive yourself. It wasn’t an industry. Today, it’s a billion dollar industry which has gone global.

Below, some stats from Statista:

As I was reading through the report I recalled a conversation I’d recently had with my sister-in-law who no longer owns a car and instead regularly uses something called GoGet {4}. Here is a screen grab which shows what they’re doing.

They simply station a number of vehicles around the city and you search for the closest one to you in order to book it for your day out or whatever you need. Indeed, why own the damn thing if you don’t need to?
This brings me to the second factor:

2. The Rise of Use of Electric Vehicles


By Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47854741

The report also argues that insurance of autonomous vehicles will be lower as they are proved safer. This is already happening, causing the spread between human-driven and autonomous vehicles insurance premiums to widen.

Ramifications?

Jesus, where do I start?

Geopolitical: What happens to the Middle East, Venezuela, Russia, Norway?

Industry: What happens if demand collapses for personal cars? The entire value chain, auto loans, auto servicing, dealerships, vehicle insurance … Poof! We’re not talking small numbers here.

What do you think?

Tony Seba Poll {5}. Cast your vote here and also see what others think the future holds

Please drop your thoughts in the comments {6} as I’d love to hear all arguments either way.
– Chris

Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.

– Alan Kay

Liked this article? Don’t miss our future missives and podcasts, and get access to free subscriber-only content.

Links:

{1} https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/04/world-whack-5-head-scratchers/

{2} https://static1.squarespace.com/static/585c3439be65942f022bbf9b/t/591a2e4be6f2e1c13df930c5/1494888038959/RethinkX+Report_051517.pdf

{3} https://capitalistexploits.at/2013/07/how-to-make-millions-and-save-ed-snowdens-life/

{4} https://www.goget.com.au

{5} https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/05/world-whack-end-oil-within-10-years/

{6} https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/05/world-whack-end-oil-within-10-years/#comments

https://capitalistexploits.at/2017/05/world-whack-end-oil-within-10-years/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-18/end-oil-within-10-years

Categories: Uncategorized

Israel Lobby Pays the Political Piper

The Israel Lobby is so powerful that for years it insisted it didn’t exist – and Official Washington went along with the lie. Today, President Trump scrambles to secure the lobby’s blessings.

by Jonathan Marshall (This is the third part of a series on foreign lobbying.)

Consortium News (May 21 2017)

In this age of rancorous hyper-partisanship, getting members of Congress to agree on anything beyond the naming of a post office is a challenge. Yet in late April, all 100 members of the US Senate signed a tough letter {1} to the UN Secretary General, demanding that the organization end its “unwarranted attacks” on Israel’s human rights record.

Three months earlier, members of the House voted overwhelmingly {2} to condemn a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel’s relentless expansion of settlements on occupied lands. Like dozens of other Democrats, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland blasted President Obama for abstaining from the UN vote, saying it “sent the wrong signal to our ally Israel”. In the Senate, leading progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offered no support {3} for President Obama, either.

Their votes and rhetoric did not simply reflect public opinion. Although Americans sympathize with Israel far more than the Palestinians, two-thirds of adults surveyed {4} in in 2015 said the United States should not take sides in the Middle East conflict. Fewer than half say they consider Israel an ally.

Those congressional actions instead illustrated the power of the pro-Israel Lobby, a highly organized and well-funded coalition that works to give Israeli leaders freedom to operate with unquestioned US diplomatic, economic and military support. Its influence helps account for the quarter trillion dollars in aid {5} (adjusted for inflation) that the United States has given Israel since 1948.

When it comes to influencing American politics, Russia runs far behind {6} highly motivated supporters of Israel. President Obama experienced that first hand when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, representing a state of just 8.6 million people, received rousing, bipartisan acclaim in no fewer than three addresses before Congress and nearly blocked approval of the Iran nuclear deal, perhaps the signature foreign policy initiative of Obama’s administration.

The pro-Israel Lobby has been the subject of much informal comment and a critical academic study {7} by two of America’s most distinguished political scientists, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, an ardent disparager of their work, recently offered a backhanded acknowledgement of its thesis during a talk to an Orthodox synagogue {8} in affluent Scarsdale, New York:

 

 

People write a book called the Israel lobby and complain that AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington. My response to that is, that’s not good enough. We should be the most powerful lobby in Washington … We are entitled to use our power. We have contributed disproportionately to the success of this country … We are a very influential community. We deserve our influence.

 

 

Contrary to the implication of his remarks, however, AIPAC and similar organizations do not comprise an ethnic Jewish lobby, though major Jewish organizations are primary constituents. Many US Jews either question Israeli government policies or have little interest in promoting them.

A 2013 Pew survey {9} found that only thirty percent of American Jews were “very attached” emotionally to Israel, and a substantial plurality believed that continued building of Jewish settlements hurts Israel’s security. A large majority of Jews voted for President Obama, despite his strained relations with the Israeli government. Most American Jews also supported his nuclear deal with Iran, in defiance of most pro-Israel organizations {10}.

Further reflecting the pro-Israel lobby’s political rather than ethnic focus, it derives much support from Christian Zionists {11}, some of them outright anti-Semites, who believe that the return of Jews to Israel foreshadows the Second Coming of Christ.

The pro-Israel camp today features even the likes of White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka, “despite his controversial ties to allies of the Nazis” {12}, and Austria’s Freedom Party, “a movement of anti-immigrant, right-wing nationalists founded in part by former Nazis” {13}.

Follow the Money

Unlike most other foreign lobbies, the pro-Israel lobby draws much of its strength from grass-roots support. With little organized opposition, it can influence Congress more readily than better-funded business lobbies that face stiff competition. However, the single biggest source of its power is not voters – only a tiny percentage make Israel their top political priority – but campaign funds {14}.

In a revealing comment, Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List confessed {15} last year, “the money … is a big piece of this story and cannot be overlooked at all”. She explained:

 

 

I have written more Israel papers that you can imagine. I’m from Montana. I barely knew where Israel was until I looked at a map, and the poor campaign manager would come in, or the policy director, and I’d be like, “Here is your paper on Israel. This is our policy.” We’ve sent it all over the country because this is how we raise money … This means that these candidates who were farmers, school teachers, or businesswomen, ended up having an Israel position without having any significant conversations with anybody.

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s pandering to the pro-Israel lobby {16} during the 2016 election – promising AIPAC that she would take relations with Israel “to the next level” and that she would meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during her first month in office – reflected her financial dependence on pro-Israel funders {17}. Chief among them was billionaire donor Haim Saban {18}, a hawkish Israeli-American who famously said, “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel”.

New Yorker correspondent Connie Bruck reported {19} that Saban, speaking at a 2009 conference in Israel, described the “three ways to be influential in American politics” as donating to political parties, creating think tanks, and buying up influential media. She observed:

 

 

In 2002 he contributed seven million dollars toward the cost of a new building for the Democratic National Committee – one of the largest known donations ever made to an American political party. That year, he also founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, DC He … tried to buy Time and Newsweek … acquired Univision in 2007, and he has made repeated bids for the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

Mother Jones reported {20} that:

 

After the launch of the Saban Center, the billionaire began pouring more and more of his fortune into Israeli causes. He donated $10 million to support the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces … He also made seven-figure gifts to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the hawkish Israeli lobbying group.

 

 

Saban, who was invited to stay overnight {21} in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House during Bill Clinton’s presidency, takes credit for helping launch Hillary Clinton’s run for that office as early as 2004. Over the years he hosted several lavish fundraisers for her, including a dinner in 2016. With an entry price of $100,000 per couple {22}, it raised more than $5 million {23} for Clinton’s campaign. Saban and his wife gave more than $10 million to a super-PAC that supported her as well.

And those donations don’t include the $7 million {24} paid by the Saban Family Foundation to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s four-year stint in the Obama administration, the $30 million more that it pledged, the $5 million donation to the Clinton Library, or the $250,000 fee paid to Bill Clinton for a fifteen-minute promotional event in 2015.

The Republican Purse

As Israel pursues ever more extreme policies grounded in ethnic and religious nationalism, the pro-Israel lobby has become increasingly aligned with the Republican Party {25}.

A recent national poll {26} showed sympathy for Israel falling ten points among Democrats to 33 percent from April 2016 to January 2017. In contrast, a near-record 74 percent of Republicans now support Israel. Similarly, a Brookings poll last fall found {27} that just over half of Democrats think that “the Israeli government has too much influence” in the United States, compared to just over a quarter of Republicans.

Republicans, who traditionally looked mainly to big oil, finance, real estate and other business sectors for campaign cash, increasingly rely on billionaires with a passion for Israel {28}, such as Wall Street hedge fund owner Paul Singer, Florida auto dealer Norman Braman, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and Hobby Lobby founder David Green (a Christian Zionist).

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, mulling over a potential presidential run in 2015, crassly told a reporter {29},

 

 

If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing … I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.] Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding.

 

 

Graham earned that support the usual way – by promising to put Israel first. During an obligatory visit to Jerusalem the previous December, Graham, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Appropriations Subcommittee, promised Netanyahu {30} that “Congress will follow your lead” on imposing economic sanctions against Iran.

The most notable among the pro-Israel GOP mega-donors is Sheldon Adelson. Blurring the lines between American supporters and Israeli leaders, Adelson also spent millions to buy an election {31} for the American-educated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the right-wing Likud party.

Adelson, an ideological ally of Netanyahu, reportedly {32} called the Palestinians “an invented people” whose “purpose … is to destroy Israel”, and advocated vaporizing Tehran if necessary {33} to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. Adelson captured the Republican Party’s attention in 2012 by contributing an astonishing $150 million {34} to conservative candidates in that election, including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Romney, who promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem {35} “if Israel’s leaders thought that a move of that nature would be helpful to their efforts”, also won the favor of Netanyahu’s closest political adviser, the American-born Ron Dermer {36}.

Dermer also liked Gingrich. As a young man, before taking Israeli citizenship, Dermer helped the House Speaker promote his 1994 “Contract With America”.

Dermer became Israel’s ambassador to Washington in 2013. The following year, in a blatant violation of diplomatic protocol, he attended a series of GOP candidate screening sessions held by Adelson in Las Vegas, which became known as the “Adelson primary” {37}.

The same year, Ambassador Dermer publicly endorsed Netanyahu’s reelection as prime minister, for which he was reprimanded {38} by Israel’s Civil Service Commission. He then went on in 2015 to arrange the infamous invitation {39} from Republican leaders to Netanyahu to address Congress on the perils of dealing with Iran, a speech that was arranged without consulting the White House.

Onward with Donald Trump

Through Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a major contributor to AIPAC, Dermer influenced {40} the Republican candidate’s tough speech to that organization during the 2016 campaign. AIPAC attendees cheered when Trump applauded the end of President Obama’s administration and called him {41} “maybe the worst thing to ever happen to Israel”.

Adelson soon endorsed Trump {42} in an email to dozens of Republican Jewish donors, saying “he will be a tremendous president when it comes to the safety and security of Israel”. Playing the odds shrewdly, Adelson donated $35 million or more to the Trump campaign.

Israel and its US supporters have since discovered {43}, like everyone else, that Trump is mercurial and not easily managed. After swearing fealty to the Jewish state during the campaign, he has put the brakes on his promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, called for restraint on further building of settlements, and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

On the other hand, he appointed the most right-wing, pro-settlements ambassador in history, and will make Israel the second foreign visit of his presidency, just after Saudi Arabia.

Far more important to the Netanyahu government, and to its neoconservative supporters in the United States {44}, is the fact that Trump has surrounded himself with anti-Iran hardliners. He himself has falsely called into question Iran’s compliance {45} with the nuclear agreement, contrary to the State Department’s own certification.

As Brookings analyst Suzanne Maloney commented {46} recently,

 

 

Donald Trump has the Islamic Republic of Iran in his sights … neither restraint nor continuity on Iran is really in the offing … Trump has elevated a national security team that shares an Iran-centric interpretation of the problems that plague the Middle East and threaten vital American interests there … The Trump administration has begun to replace accommodation with confrontation as the guiding principle of US policy toward Tehran, seeking to counter Iran through a multi-front campaign of diplomatic, economic, and military pressure.

 

 

No one, presumably including Trump himself, can predict where this hostility will lead. But the hard-liners in Israel and the United States who lost out to President Obama on Iran – their first significant defeat in many years – are back in the saddle. Never count the pro-Israel lobby out.

____

This is the third in a series on foreign lobbying. The previous installments were “The Open Secret of Foreign Lobbying” {47} and “How China Lobby Shaped America” {48}. Next: The Saudi Lobby.]

Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to ConsortiumNews.com.

Links:

{1} https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/f6c7c142-8655-4c34-907b-ffe91b033f34/83A98BDD8379F7A35D6207DCB0D74B38.4-27-2017-rubio-coons-ltr-to-unsg-re-israel.pdf

{2} https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/05/house-votes-to-condemn-u-n-security-council-resolution-on-israeli-settlements

{3} http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/democratic-politicians-courage

{4} http://www.pollingreport.com/israel.htm

{5} http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/u-s-aid-to-israel-totals-233-7b-over-six-decades.premium-1.510592

{6} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/20/why-not-a-probe-of-israel-gate/

{7} https://www.amazon.com/Israel-Lobby-U-S-Foreign-Policy-ebook/dp/B000UZQIF6

{8} http://mondoweiss.net/2017/05/influence-dershowitz-scarsdale/

{9} http://www.pewforum.org/files/2013/10/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey-overview.pdf

{10} https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-the-iran-deal-american-jewish-leaders-dont-speak-for-all-jews/2015/08/14/988e577e-41d5-11e5-846d-02792f854297_story.html

{11} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Zionism

{12} http://forward.com/fast-forward/369549/sebastian-gorka-welcome-at-pro-israel-events-despite-ties-to-nazi-allies/

{13} https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-the-far-right-is-trying-to-woo-an-unlikely-ally–jews/2016/11/28/36002402-b187-11e6-bc2d-19b3d759cfe7_story.html

{14} https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=Q05

{15} http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/forward-columnist-and-emilys-list-leader-relate-gigantic-shocking-role-of-jewish-democratic-donors/

{16} https://theintercept.com/2015/11/05/leaked-emails-from-pro-clinton-group-reveal-censorship-of-staff-on-israel-aipac-pandering-warped-militarism/

{17} http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/clintons-earned-over-35-million-paid-addresses-pro-israel-organizations

{18} http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/haim-saban-power-rangers-hillary-clinton-top-donor

{19} http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/05/10/the-influencer

{20} http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/haim-saban-power-rangers-hillary-clinton-top-donor

{21} http://forward.com/news/national/356059/whats-next-for-haim-saban-the-democrats-top-pro-israel-donor-after-election/

{22} http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-a-colossal-bundle-of-cash-draws-clinton-1471885166-htmlstory.html

{23} http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/haim-saban-power-rangers-hillary-clinton-top-donor

{24} http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418181/why-israeli-american-billionaire-pouring-millions-clinton-foundation-jillian-kay

{25} https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=Q05

{26} http://www.people-press.org/2017/01/12/the-world-facing-trump-public-sees-isis-cyberattacks-north-korea-as-top-threats/

{27} http://mondoweiss.net/2016/09/brookings-billion-package/

{28} http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-republican-jewish-donors-20150425-story.html

{29} http://lobelog.com/lindsey-grahams-all-jewish-cabinet/

{30} http://www.jta.org/2014/12/28/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/sen-graham-senate-will-vote-on-iran-sanctions-bill

{31} http://prospect.org/article/uniquely-awful-role-sheldon-adelson-israeli-election

{32} http://prospect.org/article/uniquely-awful-role-sheldon-adelson-israeli-election

{33} http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/adelson-suggests-u-s-nuclear-strike-on-iran-ahead-of-negotiations/?_r=0

{34} http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/sheldon-adelson-2012-election_n_2223589.html

{35} http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/opinion/friedman-newt-mitt-bibi-and-vladimir.html

{36} http://lobelog.com/israels-ambassador-to-the-us-knows-republicans-much-better-than-trump

{37} http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/09/sheldon-adelson-is-ready-to-buy-the-presidency.html

{38} http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.639004

{39} https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/politics/white-house-expresses-displeasure-over-speech-planned-by-netanyahu.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1

{40} http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.712750

{41} http://time.com/4267058/donald-trump-aipac-speech-transcript/

{42} http://fortune.com/2016/05/17/sheldon-adelson-implores-republican-jewish-leaders-to-support-trump/

{43} http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/israeli-minister-frets-change-trump-rhetoric-47422149

{44} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/15/neocons-point-housebroken-trump-at-iran/

{45} https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/04/20/trump-says-iran-has-not-lived-up-to-the-spirit-of-the-nuclear-agreement

{46} https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2017/05/11/under-trump-u-s-policy-on-iran-is-moving-from-accommodation-to-confrontation/

{47} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/19/the-open-secret-of-foreign-lobbying/

{48} https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/20/how-china-lobby-shaped-america/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/21/israel-lobby-pays-the-political-piper/

Categories: Uncategorized

Shaping the Future

Moscow and Beijing’s Multipolar World Order

by Federico Pieraccini

Strategic Culture Foundation (May 21 2017)

Once in a while, think-tanks such as the Brookings Institute are able to deal with highly strategic and current issues. Often, the conferences held by such organizations are based on false pretences and copious banality, the sole intention being to undermine and downplay the efforts of strategic opponents of the US. Recently, the Brookings Institute’s International Strategy and Strategy Project held a lecture on May 9 2017 where it invited Bobo Lo, an analyst at Lowy Institute for International Policy, to speak. The topic of the subject, extremely interesting to the author and mentioned in the past, is the strategic partnership between China and Russia.

The main assumption Bobo Lo starts with to define relations between Moscow and Beijing is that the two countries base their collaboration on convenience and a convergence of interests rather than on an alliance. He goes on to say that the major frictions in the relationship concern the fate that Putin and Xi hold for Europe, in particular for the European Union, in addition to differences of opinions surrounding the Chinese role in the Pacific. In the first case, Lo states that Russia wants to end the European project while China hopes for a strong and prosperous Europe. With regard to the situation in the Pacific, according to this report, Moscow wants a balance of power between powers without hegemonic domination being transferred from Washington to Beijing.

The only merit in Lo’s analysis is his identification of the United States as the major cause of the strategic proximity between Moscow and Beijing, certainly a hypothesis that is little questioned by US policy makers. Lo believes Washington’s obsession with China-Russia cooperation is counterproductive, though he also believes that the United States doesn’t actually possess capabilities to sabotage or delimit the many areas of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.

What is missing in Lo’s analysis are two essential factors governing how Moscow and Beijing have structured their relationship. China and Russia have different tasks in ushering in their world order, namely, by preserving global stability through military and economic means. Their overall relationship of mutual cooperation goes beyond the region of Eurasia and focuses on the whole process of a sustainable globalization as well as on how to create an environment where everyone can prosper in a viable and sustainable way. Doing this entails a departure from the current belligerent and chaotic unipolar world order.

Moscow and Beijing: Security and Economy

Beijing has been the world’s economic engine for over two decades and shows no signs of slowing down, at least not too much. Moscow, contrary to western media propaganda, has returned to play a role not only on a regional scale but as a global power. Both of these paths of military and economic growth for China and Russia have set things on a collision course with the United States, the current global superpower that tends to dominate international relations with economic, political and military bullying thanks to a complicit media and corrupt politicians.

In the case of Beijing, the process of globalization has immensely enhanced the country, allowing the Asian giant to become the world’s factory, enabling Western countries to outsource to low-cost labor. In this process of economic growth, Beijing has over the years gone from being a simple paradise for low-cost outsourcing for private companies to being a global leader in investment and long-term projects. The dividends of years of wealth accumulation at the expense of Western nations has allowed Beijing to be more than just a strategic partner for other nations. China drives the process of globalization, as recently pointed out by Xi Jinping in Davos in a historic speech. China’s transition from a harmless partner of the West to regional power with enormous foreign economic investments place the country on a collision course with Washington. Inevitably, Beijing will become the Asian hegemon, something US policymakers have always guaranteed will not be tolerated.

The danger Washington sees is that of China emerging as a regional superpower that will call the shots in the Pacific, the most important region of the planet. The United States has many vested interests in the region and undeniably sees its future as the leader of the world order in jeopardy. Obama’s pivot to Asia was precisely for the purposes of containing China and limiting its economic power so as to attenuate Beijing’s ambitions.

Unsurprisingly, Washington’s concerns with Moscow relate to its resurgence in military capabilities. Russia is able to oppose certain objectives of the United States (see Ukraine or Syria) by military means. The possibility of the Kremlin limiting American influence in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Eurasia in general is cause for concern for American policymakers, who continue to fail to contain Russia and limit Moscow’s spheres of influence.

In this context, the strategic division of labor between Russia and China comes into play to ensure the stability of the Eurasian region as a whole; in Asia, in the Middle East, and in Europe. To succeed in this task, Moscow has mainly assumed the military burden, shared with other friendly nations belonging to the affected areas. In the Middle East, for example, Tehran’s partnership with Moscow is viewed positively by Beijing, given its intention to stabilize the region and to eradicate the problem of terrorism, something about which nations like China and Russia are particularly concerned.

The influence of Islamist extremists in the Caucasian regions in Russia or in the autonomous region of Xinjiang in China are something that both Putin and Xi are aware can be exploited by opposing Western countries. In North Africa, Egypt has signed several contracts for the purchase of military vehicles from Moscow, as well as having bought the two Mistral ships from France, thereby relying on military supplies from Moscow. It is therefore not surprising that Moscow and Egypt cooperated with the situation in Libya and in North Africa in general.

In Southeast Asia, Moscow seeks to coordinate efforts to reach an agreement between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (“SCO”) of New Delhi and Islamabad (Tehran will be next), with the blessing of Beijing as the protagonist of the 2017 SCO meeting, is a keystone achievement and the right prism through which to observe the evolution of the region. Moscow is essentially acting as a mediator between the parties and is also able to engage with India in spite of the dominating presence of China. The ultimate goal of Moscow and Beijing is to eradicate the terrorist phenomenon in the Asian region with a view to what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East with Iran and Egypt.

Heading to a Multipolar World Order

The turning point in relations between Moscow and Beijing concerns the ability to engage third countries in military or economic ways, depending on these countries’ needs and objectives. Clearly, in the military field it is Moscow that is leading, with arms sold to current and future partners and security cooperation (such as with ex-Soviet Central-Asian republics or in the Donbass) and targeted interventions if needed, as in Syria. Beijing, on the other hand, acts in a different way, focusing on the economic arena, in particular with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“AIIB”) at its center.

Initiatives such as the One Belt One Road (“OBOR”) and the Maritime Silk Road have the same strategic aim of the Russian military initiative, namely, ensuring the independence of the region from a geo-economic perspective, reaching win-win arrangements for all partners involved. Naturally, the win-win agreement does not mean that China wins and then wins again; rather, a series of bilateral concessions can come to satisfy all actors involved. An important example in this regard that explains the Sino-Russian partnership concerns the integration of the Eurasian Union aka Eurasian Economic Union (“EEU”) with the Chinese Silk Road. The Russian concerns over the predominant status of the Chinese colossus in Central Asia have been assuaged by a number of solutions, such as the support of the OBOR infrastructure program to that of the Eurasian Union. Beijing is not interested in replacing Moscow’s leading role the post-Soviet nations in Central Asia but rather with providing significant energy and economic development to particularly underdeveloped nations that are in need of important economic investment, something only Beijing is able to guarantee.

The linking of the EEU with the OBOR initiative guarantees Moscow a primary role in the transit of goods from east to west, thereby becoming the connecting point between China and Europe while expanding the role and function of the EEU. All participants in these initiatives have a unique opportunity to expand their economic condition through this whole range of connections. Beijing guarantees the money for troubled countries, and Moscow the security. The SCO will play a major role in reducing and preventing terrorist influence in the region, a prerequisite for the success of any projects. Also, the AIIB, and to some extent, the BRICS Development Bank, will also have to step in and offer alternative economic guarantees to countries potentially involved in these projects, in order to free them from the existing international financial institutions.

One Belt One Road, and all the related projects represent a unique occasion whereby all relevant players share common goals and benefits from such transformative geo-economic relationships. This security-economy relationship between Moscow and Beijing is the heart of the evolution of the current world order, from the unipolar to the multipolar world. The US cannot oppose China on the economic front and Russia on the military front. It all comes down to how much China and Russia can continue to provide and guarantee economic and security umbrellas for the rest of the world.

_____

Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal http://www.strategic-culture.org.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/21/shaping-future-moscow-and-beijing-multipolar-world-order.html

Categories: Uncategorized

How China Lobby Shaped America

A prototype of the modern foreign lobby in Washington was the China Lobby, bribing and bending US politicians to serve the will of the Nationalists who fled to Taiwan and helped fuel McCarthyism.

by Jonathan Marshall (This is the second in a series on foreign lobbies.)

Consortium News (May 20 2017)

One of the first big foreign lobbies to blossom after passage of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act was the infamous China Lobby, defined {1} by William Safire in his political dictionary as an “attack phrase used against those urging support of Chiang Kai-shek against Mao Zedong, and later pressing for aid to Chiang on Taiwan”.


General Chiang Kai-shek who led the Chinese Nationalists and fled to Taiwan after the Communist victory in mainland China.

Testifying to the China Lobby’s seminal importance – actually what would more accurately be called the Taiwan Lobby – Safire credited it with inspiring the term “Israel lobby” to describe the equally formidable support network for another equally tiny country.

The China Lobby demanded – and won – billions of dollars in military and economic aid for Chiang’s dictatorship, first in mainland China and then on Taiwan. Exploiting the wave of anti-Communism during the McCarthy era, it also ruthlessly suppressed any criticism of Nationalist China’s shortcomings or any moves toward diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China.

Some of its American operatives were opportunistic lawyer-lobbyists like Thomas Corcoran {2}, a former New Dealer who turned his talents to money-making intrigues. Some were anti-communist militants like General Claire Chennault of Flying Tigers fame, who founded a CIA-controlled airline (Civil Air Transport) with Corcoran’s help to support Chiang’s armies and run covert operations in the Far East.

Many were partisan Republicans who rejected criticism of Chiang’s corrupt regime and attacked the Truman administration for not sending enough financial and military aid to prevent the “fall of China”.

In 1949, two members of Congress called for an investigation of the lobby’s “brazen power”. Representative Mike Mansfield, a Montana Democrat who would later become Senate majority leader, accused Nationalist Chinese officials – who had fled the mainland for Taiwan that year in the wake of the communist revolution – of diverting US aid to fund political propaganda in the United States.

Ironically, a timely dispensation of $800,000 from Nationalist Chinese officials in Taiwan to their New York office financed a successful campaign to squelch that proposed investigation.

A few intrepid reporters worked hard to fill the information gap. In April 1952, The Reporter magazine ran two successive issues {3} devoted to exposing the China Lobby.

“While what is left of Chiang’s army is rusting in Formosa [another name for Taiwan], the Lobby’s operators are employing all their mental and financial resources in the United States”, observed editor Max Ascoli. “In the last couple of years, they have had remarkable success. Once more the big lie has proved to be unanswerable and undebatable.”

Commenting on the China Lobby’s ruthless methods, including McCarthyite demagoguery and the purge of liberal China experts from government, the magazine called it {4} “the nearest thing to an effective Communist Party our country has ever had. There is no other outfit to which the China Lobby can be compared, with its hard core of fanatical, full-time operators, its underground, its legion of naive, misled fellow travelers, its front organizations, and its foreign officials, in Washington with diplomatic immunity, who dutifully report to central headquarters.”

CIA Support

The Reporter series likely had the support of officials in the Truman administration and was substantially reported by a veteran US intelligence officer {5} who went to work for Time magazine after serving as the CIA’s first station chief in Paris {6}.

His co-author gave an advance briefing {7} to the assistant to the director of the CIA in March 1952, offering up one explosive detail kept out of the published version: “the Nationalist government pumped more than $2,000,000 into the Republican campaign in 1948”.

The success of Republicans in the 1952 elections, however, forced the CIA more into line with the China Lobby {8}. Pro-Taiwan organizations like the Committee to Defend America by Aiding Anti-Communist China and the Committee on National Affairs included among their officers or directors notable front-men for CIA propaganda operations, such as William Donovan, former head of the Office of Strategic Services, Jay Lovestone, a CIA-funded labor organizer, and Cord Meyer, who took charge of the Agency’s International Organizations Division in 1954.

The CIA also covertly funded anti-communist organizations such as the Free Asia Committee and Aid Refugee Chinese Intellectuals (“ARCI”), which reinforced the China Lobby’s messages.

The executive chairman of ARCI, Christopher Emmet, lauded its role in “making Americans more aware of the Chinese anti-Communist cause … The reason is that the humanitarian appeal for relief incidentally permits giving all the political facts about persecution, et cetera … It does not invite argument and attack as in the case of direct political propaganda”.

The first academic study of this pressure campaign finally appeared – ever so briefly {9} – in 1960. In the introduction to his The China Lobby in American Politics (1960, 1974), political scientist Ross Koen made the blockbuster allegation that

There is … considerable evidence that a number of [Nationalist] Chinese officials engaged in the illegal smuggling of narcotics into the United States with the full knowledge and connivance of the Nationalist Chinese Government. The evidence indicates that several prominent Americans have participated in and profited from these transactions. It indicates further that the narcotics business has been an important factor in the activities and permutations of the China Lobby.

 

An energetic publicist for the China Lobby got hold of advance proofs of the book and shared them with allies in the Eisenhower administration {10}. Together they brought heavy legal and political pressure to bear on the publisher, Macmillan, to withdraw the book. The book was not reissued until 1974 {11}, by Harper & Row.

Richard Nixon and the China Lobby

Through its hard-hitting propaganda campaigns, the China Lobby prevented US diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China – the most populous country on Earth – for more than two decades. Its stranglehold on US foreign policy was not broken until 1972 when President Nixon finally opened talks with Beijing to help end the Vietnam War.

Ironically, Nixon had long been one of the China Lobby’s most ardent supporters. He won election to the Senate from California in 1950 in part by exploiting popular dissatisfaction with the Truman administration’s “loss” of China and the subsequent bloody war in Korea.

Washington columnist Drew Pearson later published {12} the fact that Nixon took a large cash payoff from one of Chiang’s nephews to help fund his successful 1950 campaign against the liberal Democratic incumbent, Helen Gahagan Douglas. Pearson also learned {13} – but did not publish – the fact that a Nationalist Chinese agent supplied $500,000 in cash to fund the campaign expenses of other Republican senators nationwide.

Years later, during the 1968 presidential election campaign, Nixon used the services of China Lobby notable Anna Chennault – widow of the late American general Claire Chennault and a prodigious Republican fundraiser in her own right – as his private emissary to the president of South Vietnam.

Through her, Nixon secretly blocked President Johnson’s proposal for peace talks between North and South Vietnam, in order to slow momentum for Hubert Humphrey’s campaign. Johnson, learning of the Nixon/Chennault intervention through top-secret intelligence sources, said nothing publicly but complained bitterly to Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen, “This is treason” {14}.

The China Lobby’s Legacy

That same year, the China Lobby inspired a parallel lobby supporting the military dictatorship of South Korea, a close anti-communist ally of Taiwan. In 1968, Richard Hanna, a Taiwan supporter {15} and Democratic congressman from Orange County – Nixon’s home ground – “instructed” {16} South Korea’s prime minister “on how to lobby the US Congress effectively by emulating the successful models set by Israel and Taiwan”.

Following his advice, a South Korean businessman, working with the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, began recycling commissions from US rice sales {17} to Korea to pay for lavish entertainment and outright bribes to “congressmen, cabinet members, and other influential persons” in Washington, including Defense Secretary Melvin Laird {18}, during the Nixon years.

In late 1970, a CIA “bug” in the office of South Korea’s president implicated him {19} in a scheme to spend upward of a million dollars a year to pay off dozens of US officials, but the Nixon administration took no action.

In 1973, one member of Congress who later escaped prosecution for bribery because of the statute of limitations, wrote {20} South Korea’s president a letter of appreciation, commenting, “you have an extremely competent team working on your behalf and making things come out right for your country. Nothing, as you know, happens without a great deal of work and support.”

The South Korean businessman who disbursed the bribes eventually testified before Congress in 1978, a decade after the “Koreagate” {21} conspiracy began, under a grant of full immunity. Although he implicated some thirty members of Congress, only about ten resigned or faced criminal charges.

Taiwan, meanwhile, continued to maintain a formidable lobby in Washington during the 1970s, despite President Nixon’s betrayal in recognizing mainland China. The lobby continued to win the hearts and minds of conservative Republicans, including Ronald Reagan. Among other vehicles, it used the services of the public relations firm Deaver and Hannaford, which also represented the military dictatorships of Argentina and Guatemala.

Partner Michael Deaver {22}, a former aide to Governor Reagan, became President Reagan’s Deputy Chief of Staff in 1981. Much to Beijing’s displeasure {23}, US arms sales to Taiwan proceeded to soar {24}, from $312 million in 1981 to a high of $709 million in 1985. An appreciative Taiwan, along with South Korea, provided covert support for the anti-Communist “Contras” fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua during these years.

In 1987, Deaver was convicted of perjuring himself before Congress and a federal grand jury regarding his use of the White House for lobbying activities.

The China Lobby lives on, with diminished clout, in today’s Republican Party. Its 2016 platform called for {25} increased arms sales to Taiwan, reinstating it in international organizations, and a committing to its defense in case of a military showdown with China.

During the presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump named several strong supporters of the island to his transition team. In December 2016, President-elect Trump held his notorious call with Taiwan’s leader to celebrate their respective elections and laud the “close economic, political, and security ties” between the United States and Taiwan.

Since then, of course, President Trump has reversed himself on this as on so many other policies, burning bridges with Taiwan to cultivate President Xi Jinping of China. But don’t count Taiwan out. If Xi fails to deliver on North Korea, or if US-China military confrontations rise anew in the South China Sea, the small island that once commanded an army of US supporters may roar yet again in Washington.

Links:

{1} https://books.google.com/books?id=jK-0NPoMiYoC&pg=PA118&dq=Safire%27s+Political+Dictionary+Israel+Lobby&ei=dtVkSv2nCoj6lQSGt8WqDg#v=onepage&q=Safire%27s%20Political%20Dictionary%20Israel%20Lobby&f=false

{2} http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKcorcoran.htm

{3} http://www.unz.org/Pub/Reporter-1952apr15

{4} http://www.unz.org/Pub/Reporter-1952apr29-00023?View=PDF&Text=China+Lobby

{5} https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjAkZHa-NTTAhUR3GMKHT3wCBYQFggnMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cia.gov%2Flibrary%2Freadingroom%2Fdocs%2FDOC_0001371657.pdf&usg=AFQjCNED36i2Vt4rE-h_xFk6j_3rfOAt6Q&sig2=ub80NJVUH3o-MP7UDNpP7g&cad=rja

{6} https://paw.princeton.edu/memorial/philip-clark-horton-%E2%80%9933

{7} https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwjAkZHa-NTTAhUR3GMKHT3wCBYQFggsMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cia.gov%2Flibrary%2Freadingroom%2Fdocs%2FCIA-RDP80R01731R001300130010-7.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGBSm0te-JcWi-pMIaTqZWvaXaZtA&sig2=EpmumXJVGXKlvXOg84EkoA&cad=rja

{8} http://208.109.186.237/Pub/LibertarianRev-1978jun-00035?View=PDF

{9} https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1960/04/06/105425864.html

{10} http://apjjf.org/2013/11/37/Jonathan-Marshall/3997/article.html

{11} http://www.nytimes.com/1974/12/10/archives/suppressed-china-book-sees-the-light-agair-cant-find-records-now-a.html

{12} https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0ahUKEwjRsJvErdLTAhVS62MKHdL2CC8QFggtMAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fauislandora.wrlc.org%2Fislandora%2Fobject%2Fpearson%253A27200%2Fdatastream%2FPDF%2Fdownload&usg=AFQjCNHDH8FIbmJtkZ2_crV5gvcZohxJ9A&sig2=t5sV4M12SkSwSfuJr2mkYQ&cad=rja

{13} https://books.google.com/books?id=Kz5TCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=drew+pearson+nixon+china+lobby&source=bl&ots=F6sEllsXVm&sig=RviuCMaP3sD3CvdZ3p0r2PGOb2s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRsJvErdLTAhVS62MKHdL2CC8Q6AEIMTAF#v=onepage&q=drew%20pearson%20nixon%20china%20lobby&f=false

{14} https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/13/lbjs-x-file-on-nixons-treason-2/

{15} https://books.google.com/books?id=a2aPAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=richard+hanna

{16} https://books.google.com/books?id=2tO9ytrHdggC&q=Hanna#v=snippet&q=Hanna&f=false

{17} https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1977/08/07/the-rice-connection/9a5b168a-da35-49e9-892a-a22ae2353924/?utm_term=.c5c2f4f79e47

{18} https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1977/04/17/letters-reveal-legislators-ties-to-korean/89ce1f4d-9ce0-4215-bdc6-6f3589b7aaa1/?utm_term=.3ca084a6dbf5

{19} http://www.nytimes.com/1976/11/09/archives/new-jersey-pages-korean-chief-linked-to-illegal-lobbying-sources.html

{20} https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1977/04/17/letters-reveal-legislators-ties-to-korean/89ce1f4d-9ce0-4215-bdc6-6f3589b7aaa1/?utm_term=.3ca084a6dbf5

{21} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koreagate

{22} http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/washington/19deaver.html

{23} http://www.nytimes.com/1984/04/16/world/china-to-press-reagan-on-taiwan-arms.html

{24} https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/taiwanarms

{25} http://www.fpri.org/article/2017/03/donald-trump-is-no-friend-of-taiwan/
_____

Next: The Israel Lobby

Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to Consortiumnews.com.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/20/how-china-lobby-shaped-america/

Categories: Uncategorized

Rosenstein and Mueller

The Regime Change Tag-Team

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (May 23 2017)

Let’s say you own a big US corporation but need help managing your domestic accounts. So you hire a bright, young man named Bruno who just graduated from Harvard Business School with a Masters in corporate finance. And the first day on the job, you discover that Bruno has secretly employed a private detective who has obtained subpoena power to dig through all of your business accounts, all your investments past and present, all your taxes going back decades, and any personal transactions you might have made in the last twenty years or so. And, oh yeah, and he also has the authority to interview anyone he chooses, including people who might have a grudge against you or who lost money on one of your dodgy real estate deals or who simply doesn’t like the way you comb your hair. And, of course, Bruno knows that the information he gathers is going to be deliberately tweaked to look as suspicious as possible, then it’s going to be leaked to the press and splashed across the headlines, then it’s going to be presented as evidence to a Grand Jury, and then, finally – after months of excruciating testimony and nonstop mud-slinging – it will be used in criminal proceedings that will lead your removal as CEO of your corporation.

How would you feel about that? Would you feel like your new employee had betrayed you? Would you think that Bruno was a backstabbing scoundrel who was secretly working for your enemies?

Rod Rosenstein is Bruno. The man is a skunk, there are no two-ways about it.

And, yes, I know, people are going to swarm to Rosenstein’s defense and say, “Yeah, but, Trump is a bloviating buffoon and a mentally-unstable despot”. And, they’re right, too, the man is a menace, a narcissist and maybe even a crackpot. Just look at the Saudi arms deal where Trump agreed to provide hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons to a fanatical government that will undoubtedly use them to arm its jihadist army in Syria or kill women and children in Yemen. It just shows that Trump is a vicious, unprincipled militarist. But that doesn’t change what Rosenstein did. People need to look beyond Trump’s failings to appreciate what type of man we’re dealing with here. Rosenstein is a duplicitous backstabbing serpent. End of story.

When a president makes an appointment, like Deputy Attorney General, the assumption is that the appointee is going to play for the home team. That doesn’t mean that Rosenstein was expected to do anything dishonest or illegal. Not at all. He was simply expected to be moderately loyal and defend the administration against politically-motivated attacks. That’s it. But that was too much for Rosenstein whose first big decision as Deputy Attorney General was to pull the rug out from under his boss, betray his team, and sabotage the administration’s entire political agenda. He blew up the whole damn operation with one sweep of the hand. Kaboom.

By appointing a Special Counsel, Rosenstein not only destroyed any chance Trump had at achieving his policy objectives, he also effectively rolled-back the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Not bad for a day’s work, eh?

We can now be 100 percent certain that Trump’s political agenda will never get off the ground. His tax plan, his infrastructure plan, his health care plan; all of them have gone up in smoke thanks to Rosenstein. Which is good, right, since the Trump’s “pamper the rich and screw-the-working-man” plan was crappy policy anyway? So, good riddance.

But was that Rosenstein’s decision to make? Is that how democracy is supposed to work? Does one unelected, meddlesome lawyer at the Department of Justice get to overturn the results of the election and bring the government to a screeching halt?

No. That’s not how the system is supposed to work. The president is supposed to set the agenda because, well, because he’s the president and that’s what the people voted for. It’s called democracy. But Rosenstein doesn’t like democracy, he’d rather do the work of his paymasters who want to see Trump drawn and quartered before he’s given the boot.

“His paymasters”? Rosenstein has paymasters?

Yer darn right, he does. Rosenstein didn’t make the decision to appoint a Special Counsel by himself. That’s baloney. He got his marching orders from someone else higher up the food-chain. That’s obvious. Does anyone seriously believe that a second-string attorney at the Justice Department would launch a full-blown attack on the president of the United States unless he got the green light from the deep-state fatcats who operate behind the scenes?

No way. If the big boys weren’t on board, the media would have blown Rosenstein out of the water five minutes after he made the announcement. As it stands, the witch hunt is going forward without a shred of solid evidence, without any eyewitnesses, without a hint of wrongdoing, and without any probable cause. It’s like a novel by Franz Kafka only everyone already knows how it ends.

And Rosenstein didn’t pick hatchetman Robert Mueller by himself either. That’s more malarkey. Mueller was picked by the same shadowy throng of elites that selected the 9-11 Commission, the big money guys who own this fecking country lock, stock, and barrel. In this case, they wanted a political assassin who could be trusted to do everything in his power to force Trump to resign. Mueller was the perfect man for the job, a cold-blooded Mafia hitman who won’t leave his fingerprints at the scene of the crime. In his more than ten-year stint at the FBI, Mueller managed to conceal his utter contempt for the law behind a mask of smug sincerity and icy self-righteousness. His qualifications speak for themselves. Here’s a little background on Mueller from Sputnik News:

 

 

Robert Mueller, picked as special prosecutor to investigate President Donald Trump, violated the US Constitution as FBI Director by using secret domestic spy programs, National Security Agency (“NSA”) whistleblower William Binney told Sputnik.

“My problem with Mueller is that he agreed with and used the Stellar Wind spying program at NSA against common crime since 2001”, Binney said Wednesday. “He admitted to this in a 2011 interview with [Time magazine correspondent] Bart Gellman” …

Binney said that Mueller’s willingness to use secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations revealed his willingness to ignore or break safeguards in the US Constitution.

“This means he [Mueller] did not live up to his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution against foreign and domestic threats. So, he clearly has a selective view of how you apply the Constitution”, Binney explained …

James Comey, Mueller’s successor as FBI Director, who was fired by Trump on May 9 had also been willing to ignore the US Constitution in order to use NSA data collected without any legal warrant against ordinary criminals, Binney recalled. {1}

 

 

Repeat: He used “secret espionage surveillance techniques designed only for national security functions against suspects in regular criminal investigations”.

Nice. So instead of dogging down the crooked bankers on Wall Street who blew up the financial system and fleeced We The People out of trillions of dollars, Mueller spent his time stomping on the Fourth Amendment so he could add a few more warm bodies to our ballooning prison population. Way to go, Bob.

And there’s more about Mueller that people should know, too, like the fact that he was the architect of an FBI entrapment program that lured simple-minded gangbangers into terrorist scams and then threw them in the slammer for the rest of their lives. Check out this blurb from an article at Electronic Intifada titled “The FBI’s penchant for “manufacturing terrorists”:

 

 

What the FBI was doing before, during and after the financial crisis is the subject under examination in Trevor Aaronson’s new book The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism (2013). The book unveils the FBI’s domestic counterterrorism program that began after the 11 September attacks and has continued well into Barack Obama’s second term in office. The program, vividly portrayed by Aaronson, is defined by a wanton use of informants and sting operations in order to produce a high rate of convictions …

Since the 11 September attacks, the FBI has employed more than 15,000 confidential informants nationwide. And, according to Aaronson, for each official informant there are as many as three unofficial informants – known within the FBI as “hip pockets”. By 2011, the Justice Department had prosecuted more than 500 individuals on terrorist charges, a handful of whom Aaronson categorizes as “actual terrorists”. The rest were hatched within the context of FBI sting operations, informants and agents provocateur …

What Aaronson discovered was that, far from preventing terrorism, the FBI uses its funds to “manufacture” terrorists out of marginalized, desperate, mentally ill or immature men (many of the convicted individuals profiled are in their early twenties). In Aaronson’s words, “The FBI has been effective at creating the very enemy it is hunting” …

Taking his readers through several FBI sting operations, Aaronson reveals a sordid practice in which the FBI often employs criminals to infiltrate Muslim communities to turn otherwise powerless malcontents into “terrorists”. According to Aaronson’s accounts, these so-called terrorists would have no more than the capability to mouth off in a chat room if it weren’t for the inert weapons and cash that informants would literally place in their hapless hands, thus creating “bogeymen from buffoons” …

Aaronson’s book is a powerful portrait of the FBI’s insidious and destructive counterterrorism program that enables the contortion of the innocuous into the threatening, ruining hundreds of lives in its wake. {2}

 

 
So this is what Mueller and his FBI pals were up to before Comey arrived on the scene?

Apparently so. They were devoting a considerable amount of time and resources to operations that framed hapless dupes and patsies as dangerous terrorists threatening our precious national security.

And the man who oversaw these operations, Robert Mueller, is the same guy the media has been praising as the embodiment of integrity and moral rectitude. Give me a break. Mueller knew these operations were a hoax, he had to know. The FBI was working a sting to lure hard-luck dimwits into doing things they’d never normally dream of doing. It’s called entrapment, which is exactly what it is. What the FBI was doing is no different than coaxing a hungry dog into a steel cage with a T-Bone steak. The Bureau calls the practice “counter-terrorism”. Anyone in their right mind would call it “Baloney”.

This is why the big shots chose Mueller to spearhead their Russia hacking witchhunt. They figure his experience with entrapment will help him to bag his biggest trophy yet, the President of the United States, Donald J Trump. That’s the plan at least.

So what are the odds that Trump will get a fair shake in this deal?

How about zero? There’s zero chance that Grand Inquisitor Mueller and his Star Chamber assistants are going to conduct an objective, independent investigation. In fact, the whole Special Counsel meme is just an attempt to dignify the railroading of the Chief Executive. There’s not much more to it than that. They need these sham legal proceedings to create the impression that the final outcome hasn’t already been decided. But it has already been decided. Trump’s going to be driven from office and there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. The die has been cast, and Trump came up snake-eyes.

Now, it’s only a matter of time.

Links:

{1} https://sputniknews.com/us/201705181053721541-russia-fbi-probe-violated-constitution/

{2} https://electronicintifada.net/content/fbis-penchant-manufacturing-terrorists-probed-new-book/12280

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/23/rosenstein-and-mueller-the-regime-change-tag-team/

Categories: Uncategorized